Maurizio Sarri highlights signs of improvement at Chelsea after Anfield defeat

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Speaking after Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, Maurizio Sarri said he and his players will continue to fight for a place in the top four of the Premier League

Maurizio Sarri praised Chelsea for staying in contention against a rampant Liverpool team - an achievement he believes would have been beyond his improving side a few months ago.

Chelsea frustrated Liverpool in the first half on Sunday's match at Anfield before Sadio Mane's header and Mohamed Salah's sensational strike secured a 2-0 victory for the title chasers.

Things could have been different had Chelsea converted three chances which came in close succession after Liverpool's quick-fire double, but Sarri was pleased at his side's resilience against superior opposition.

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Highlights from Liverpool's win over Chelsea in the Premier League

"We played a good match against wonderful opponents," he told Sky Sports. "We stayed in the match for 50 minutes.

"After the second goal - a shocking goal in a good way for them, but not for us - we reacted.

"We had two or three opportunities to score after the second goal with Eden and Higuain. We were not lucky for sure. We hit the post for the 35th time in our season.

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Ashley Cole believes Chelsea do not have the fight needed at present and admits he does not want to think about the club losing Eden Hazard next season

"Probably at this moment they are better than us, but we are going the right way. We are improving. Three months ago, we were not able to stay in the match."

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Chelsea stay fourth after the defeat on Merseyside, but their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League suffered a blow, with their top-four rivals all having at least a game in hand.

Asked for his assessment on the race for the top four, Sarri added: "It's not easy of course, but we have to fight to the end.

"It will be very hard for every team in the last month of the season. We can expect very strange results in last month, because we are tiring like all the other teams."

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